Designers pen anti-fur letter to fashion students

In an open letter sent by PETA to Central Saint Martins, Molly Goddard, Faustine Steinmetz and more urge aspiring designers to choose alternatives

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Shrimps AW15
Shrimps AW15Photography Asia Werbel

Fur is, without a doubt, one of the most controversial topics in fashion. While paint-bombing doesn’t seem to occur much outside of Sex and the City, other forms of activism are alive and well. The latest news comes from anti-animal cruelty charity PETA, which has teamed up with a host of young London designers (including Molly Goddard, Faustine Steinmetz, Marta Jakubowski and Hannah Weiland of faux-fur favourites Shrimps) to pen a letter to Central Saint Martins, urging students there not to use fur.

“As future fashion designers, students at Central Saint Martins have a unique opportunity to influence the next generation of consumers by embracing the trend towards cruelty-free fashion,” reads the note, with an accompanying press release citing both animal- and eco-friendly materials as better alternatives to fur.

The letter also takes aim at fur companies who sponsor students’ collections, offering them the use of expensive materials. “Already, many consumers are turning their backs on wearing fur, and the dying fur industry is desperately trying to keep itself visible by pushing pelts on up-and-coming designers,” it reads. “We, the undersigned, urge you not to give in to industry bribes and incentives.”

Love it or loathe it, PETA has been famed for its shock-tactics over the past few decades. Perhaps most famously, their 1990s campaigns featured supermodels including Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington declaring that they would “rather go naked than wear fur”. However, other adverts which have depicted nude women as meat and made reference to topics such as the holocaust have sparked controversy. 

Earlier this year, legendary Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani announced he was halting the use of fur in his designs. Others, including Diesel, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren have already ditched the material. So what do you think – is it time fashion moved on from fur?

Read the letter in full exclusively below – click to enlarge, or here if you’re on mobile.

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